SAUCONY PROGRID RIDE 3
Widths: Stand.-2E (M) 2A-D (W)
Weight: 12 oz (M) 10 oz (W)
WE SAY: The Ride is a running-shoe combo plate, serving up stability features on a bed of semisoft cushioning. Like most combo plates, the result is pretty average, but most testers didn't mind the shoe's lack of dazzle. They did, however, complain about the heel propping the foot a little higher than most running shoes, resulting in an awkward transition from footstrike to toe-off. We recommend the Ride for injury-prone runners or efficient runners looking for a safe long-run shoe.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "The cushioning didn't feel too pillowy."—Dana Stow, 33, Allentown
"It was a comfortable, lightweight, and well-cushioned shoe."—Kevin Sayers, 35, East Lansing
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Weight: 10.1 oz (M) 8.3 oz (W)
WE SAY: Unlike other Nike shoes built on Lunar foam, the new Elite is firm and fairly inflexible. Efficient runners who tend to train in this type of shoe look for a firmer ride because they like to push off from a solid platform. These runners are most concerned about protection, and thankfully, the LunarElite offers plenty. Our testers were critical of the lack of arch support and the stiff ride, but they liked how well the upper wrapped their instep. Recommended for efficient runners looking for a speedwork shoe.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "I felt I had a lot of support in this shoe."—Hillary Hartzell, 25, Allentown
"An extremely lightweight shoe with a snug fit, but it felt too firm."—Sarah Ford, 29, East Lansing
BEST DEBUT: SAUCONY PROGRID KINVARA
Weight: 7.9 oz (M) 6.6 oz (W)
WE SAY: This new minimalist shoe is one of the lightest we've ever reviewed. It doesn't have any stiff plastic to weigh it down, just squishy foam underfoot and just enough material on top to hold down the foot. It's also a low rider, bringing the heel close to the ground and creating a steady transition to toe-off. Make no bones about it, the shoe offers very little impact protection. That's why we recommend it for efficient runners who want to ease barefoot-like training into their routine. Available June 1.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "It felt like the perfect amount of cushioning."—Betsy Daly, 33, Allentown
"The outsole wore down too quickly."—Peter Ford, 30, East Lansing
ZOOT ADVANTAGE 2.0
Weight: 9.9 oz (M) 8.3 oz (W)
WE SAY: The bootie-like fit of the Advantage is tighter than most performance trainers. Its tongue is attached to the upper on both sides, so there aren't many adjustments you can make to open up the shoe. Still, the testers who managed to get the shoe on appreciated how its form-fitting squeeze is enhanced by an off-center lacing pattern. This is a fast and light shoe with springy cushioning that isn't too beefy yet still manages to be mildly supportive. Recommended as a minimal trainer for efficient runners or as a race-day shoe for the rest of us.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "Nice snug fit."—John Hunter, 58, San Diego
"Light and comfortable, but I couldn't wear them without socks."—Charlene Liegner, 42, San Diego